Turtle, Ecuador

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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12129 Reviews

  • Reviewed December 2019
    Christopher Stockton

    Patagonia

    Enjoyable trip. Guide was excellent. Hotels were variable. Food was variable

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Day boat trip in the Glacier national Park

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. He worked hard and everything ran like clockwork

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't pay in dollars. Make sure you change to local currency.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Cathryn Spence

    Great walking on a beautiful volcanic island

    We did a variety of walks on the island through temperate rainforest, across coastal gorges, up in the high caldera ridge and through the caldera itself. The scenery was beautiful with amazing geology from volcanic activity. Our tour guide was very good and let everybody in the group find their own pace. The sunshine and light during December was a real bonus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the ridge of the caldera and looking down on clouds and across to Teide on Tenerife.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Enthusiastic, organised and providing practical information.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    JOYCE COLLIER

    Fascinating trip to South America

    Overnight flight to Buenos Aires business class with KLM. All six of us were up for cycle trip around city centre that day - we stayed in Own Recoleta and met the group[16] the next day for a walking trip! Great group all equipped and ready for walking. Early morning flight to El Calafate and the Torres had a 15 kg weight restriction so left luggage at Own Recoleta. Hotel at El Calafate was very comfortable with lovely staff. First day was a gentle walk around the Perrito Moreno Glacier- we had bright sunshine and did the boat trip so we got close to the edge. We left another bag at El Calafate Hotel an early start by bus to the Torres to do the W Trek. Stay in Refugios commenced- three over the week and six of us shared rooms with bunk beds. Showers were variable - some cold- some very busy. At start we were each given a gift of note book pen and Travel towel!Great walking quite an effort at times but we completed it all. We had two guides for Torres plus Pepe our own tour guide which gave flexibility if some of the group needed to do less. Return by catamaran and bus back to El Calafate. There was time here to get washing done - very cheap at hotel - there was a day off - we walked around bird reserve and El Calafate. Travelled by bus to El Chalten. Unfortunately it was raining on first day so trip to Mount Fitzroy was changed to a less challenging walk. Again group had two guides plus Pepe. Hotel in El Chalten had seen better days - water leaked into lounge.Weather improved the next day so successful walking up to another look out and glacier. Flight back to Buenos Aires meant we had another afternoon and evening there. Staying again in Own Recoleta which we appreciated more the second time around. We arranged to do the Iguazu Falls at end. A great hotel with a lovely pool and would fully recommend doing the boat trip at the falls - good to have the refreshing shower! Temperature went up to 30degrees.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Torres del Paine and Mount Fitzroy [ although the latter was only visible on way home]. I managed to do all the walking keeping up with the group!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pepe was an excellent group leader who went out of his way to ensure we all knew what was going to happen and that we were prepared for the walk. He had a very cheerful positive out look and communicated clearly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack your ruck sack lightly. I [ female!]had leggings and a top for evenings - leggings could be used for bed as well. Travel towel not needed as they gave us a perfectly adequate one. Flip flops needed for refugio showers. We had ponchos that came into their own in the rain covering yourself and the ruck sack. Packet of sweets/ choc raisins keep everyone going. I would definitely use the laundry service at El Calafate hotel. I had a large bag for travel from uk in which I put my Exodus bag and had my ruck sack as hand luggage. I carried a small collapsible ruck sack inside my osprey ruck sack which was useful in bus and Buenos Aires. The weather in Patagonia was very variable so be ready for all possibilities during the day- rain wind sun snow.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think that Exodus could improve their hotel choice in Buenos Aires - however the Own Recoleta was happy to store our luggage for no charge over the 10 days we were away- but they definitely should think again about El Chalten, it was very basic hotel. All our guides spoke excellent English except the guide for Perrito Moreno Glacier who was completely incomprehensible and inaudible. Our meals entailed a lot of meat get ready for a beef overload! [ eating out is cheap in comparison to uk]
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Douglas Robertson

    A week in Jordan ........ if Carlsberg made a week anywhere ..this would be it!

    I knew all about Petra before travelling but Jordan is about so much more than that as I discovered. A fantastic week with history, culture, food and experiences that I will never forget. People queried how safe Jordan was before I left for the trip and I can honestly say I haven't felt safer on any trip I've been on before. The people were the kindest, friendliest and most open people you could hope to meet. The trip can be as active as you want with plenty of free time in Petra to trek around or just take it easy. Our guide Ibrahim was a brilliant leader who typified the hospitality of Jordan and spoke knowledgeably about history and culture. I would happily return again!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Petra up close was amazing but spending a night in the desert was a surprising highlight for me - the stars and the peace and tranquillity were amazing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ibrahim was brilliant!!!! He was knowledgeable, kind, attentive and fun. He shared Jordan past and present with us opening up about history and culture - past and present. He was always there for us and made sure we knew where to be and when and what to make sure we saw or tried. A true ambassador for both his country and Exodus

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont think twice just go there!!! if you go later in the year it is cooler at night so do bring layers ..... and dont forget water shoes for the beaches!
  • Reviewed December 2019
    D B

    amazing

    A truly stunning tour of an amazing country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is impossible to select one moment, as the tour is varied from wildlife to scenery. However being so close to lions and elephants , then the dramatic coastline of Titsikamma slightly nudge ahead for me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Petros, simply the best guide ever! Not only is she the guide, she drives the bus as well, her extensive knowledge of her homeland enhanced the trip. She even coped with the unexpected load shedding of power. I felt completely safe in her hands.... mega thanks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go! Be prepared to put on a few pounds, the food is excellent.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just very pleased that I did this trip. Lovely group of fellow travellers with an experienced guide. Thank you everyone.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Therese Killen

    Beautiful Namibia

    Just back from a wonderful trip to Namibia. There was 10 people on the group. We travelled on a truck through this amazing country. Our guides Ronnie and Chef Rueben where amazing. They were so professional and efficient,they actually made the holiday. Long drive days but these were made easier by Ronnie the driver's flexibility. Loo stops and photo stops where never a problem. Fantastic hosts and Reuben is an amazing chef. Thank you....i put on 3 3lbs last 2 weeks haha.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Etosha national park was amazing. I didn't expect to see much widllife in etosha NP compared to other African countries but our joyrney from one end of etosha on a 5 hour drive was just incredible. We saw incredible wildlife .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronnie was amazing. I have already recommended him to some friends. He's friendly, efficient and nothing was too much trouble. There was a lady on our trip with limited mobility and both Ronnie and Reuben went out of their way to make her comfortable throughout the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long drive days and early rises. Dont pack too much like i did. You are literally living out of a suitcase for the whole trip. Less is more...and defintely easier to carry.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food is incredible. I ate some of the best Oryx and Kadu steak ever !!! Yummy!!
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Louisa Green

    Life-changing!

    I had not been on holiday for over a decade before I embarked on this trip, so suffice to say I had high expectations! Costa Rica had been on my list ever since a colleague visited the country two years ago, and it was well worth the wait. We were fortunate enough to only have eight travellers, which meant that our guide, Jonathan, had ample time to answer all of our questions. If you are looking for a holiday which will give you eight hours of sleep a night then this trip is not for you. We were up for breakfast before 8am every day and despite there being several optional extra activities listed on the trip notes, we didn't have time to do any of them as we were constantly on the go! I felt as though I was away for six months or more, and I enjoyed moving to a new area of the country every few days. Each hotel we stayed at had a different style suited to the area of the country we were in - rainforest lodge, spa resort, mountain hotel, ranch, beach hotel. The food was wonderful - all breakfasts are included and on the days when our lunch and/or dinner weren't included, we never felt hungry.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I thoroughly enjoyed our turtle nesting tour in Samara and after three hours of walking up and down the same stretch of beach, we finally witnessed a female Lora turtle making her way up the beach, dig her nest, lay her eggs, cover them up again and return to the ocean.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jonathan, our tour guide, was absolutely brilliant. He even managed to squeeze in a few extra activities which weren't on our itinerary such as a visit to a fruit market with a tasting session, a stop in Nicoya town en route to Samara, a trip to the man who produces "the best coffee in Costa Rica" and also a slight detour to another of his friends who has their own pottery business. He knew the calls, English and Latin names of every bird we saw, gave a debrief at the end of each day, made sure we knew the plans for tomorrow, took us to local restaurants for the not-included meals and consistently went above and beyond for us. He made an incredible trip into an unforgettable one.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is currently (Dec 2019) tagged as a culture trip, but in reality it is definitely a wildlife adventure. Some days we saw in excess of 30 different types of birds and reptiles, and were very lucky to find sloths, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, spider monkeys, spiders, frogs, snakes, toucans, macaws, crocodiles, turtles, caimen, lizards and iguanas every single day. The trip notes state that the average lunch is around $15 and $35 for a dinner - in practise we found that we paid nowhere near this much. Hotel meals are expensive, but local restaurants often charge half the price for a more authentically Costa Rican meal.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If I could give this trip 10 stars, I would, and I will be booking all my future adventure holidays with Exodus :)
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Andy Longden

    Another tick on the bucketlist! Outstanding hiking holiday in a very beautiful part of the world.

    An expensive holiday, and a long way to travel, so it needed to be good. It was! This trip manages to efficiently fit in the trekking highlights of Patagonia with some sightseeing. Add on time to explore Buenos Aires and the optional trip to Iguassu Falls and you have a really well balanced, satisfying holiday. We found the hiking to be easier than expected, but we did have great weather. We were surprised how busy the trails are - this is not a holiday for those seeking solitude. Accommodation was relatively basic, but functional and adequate throughout. The Refugios in Chile are of a high standard - much better than European mountain refuges. Food throughout was excellent if you eat meat, possibly less so if you don't.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For us the hiking in El Chalten ranks amongst the "best of the best" in the world. The day walk to the Fitzroy viewpoint was absolutely sensational, with the trek to Cerro Torre base camp only marginally less so. Completing the W trek was also very satisfying. Finally, the extension to Iguassu Falls was an amazing way to end the holiday - very well managed and a great experience. Don't miss the boat ride!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tomas is a "people person" with a big warm heart. He managed a large and varied group with great skill, and as a result everything worked well. The Chilean trek leader on the W trek set an erratic pace (very lengthy stops), spent a lot of time on his mobile phone and didn't allow people to walk at their own pace. We'd rate him as a leader as very average. In contrast the female leader in El Chalten, Aime, was exceptional - as good as any leader we've ever had. Only one negative for Tomas which I will repeat here since he didn't react positively to my complaint - it is highly dangerous for a guide to make lengthy commentaries whilst wandering around a bus travelling at 70 mph. He did this repeatedly and for long periods. He needs to know that it has cost him a nomination for "leader of the year" from us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pray for good weather! We were very lucky, as weather will likely make or break the trip given the cost and distances that need to be travelled to get to, and around, Patagonia. You need to be prepared for anything, at any time, as the local climate is notoriously changeable. This will also affect how the grading of the walking feels. Our weather was very mild, so the grade of hiking did not feel like a 5, but we could see how that could change. We'd recommend extending the trip to ensure you have time to recover from the lengthy flight and to see Buenos Aires - which is a lovely city - and also to visit Iguassu Falls on the optional Exodus extension. This was outstanding.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Big thanks to our group leader, Tomas, and to the rest of our group for being so sociable throughout.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Joe Doucet

    Outstanding trip

    This was a full packed trip , informative trip led by Mohammed Tefa whose in depth knowledge, and leadership style made the trip a wonderful experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Abu Simbel
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Andrew Patchett

    A birding bonanza

    This was the most wonderful adventure and our experience was just as all previous reviewers, simply amazing. Lots of great scenery, beaches, forests, countryside and birds. Lots and lots of the most amazing birds. Costa Rica is green for a reason so be prepared it can rain a lot at any time but it is always warm/hot!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the turtles hatch on Tortuguero beach and seeing the amazing Resplendent Quetzal in Savegre Cloud Forest at such close proximity.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andreas our group leader was one of the best we have travelled with and we have had a few! His patience, knowledge and enthusiasm was just simply amazing and never seemed to be phased by the groups constant questions. Our trip had a birding bias and Andreas’s ability to locate, see and identify them was just simply amazing. We would not seen a fraction of them without his expert knowledge and guidance. Thank you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Costa Rica is not a cheap country so be prepared for normal UK prices or above however the food and drink are really good with lots of fresh local fare. Just the best. The coffee it goes without saying is fantastic. ( We liked the iced coffees the best. Mmmmm!) ATMs are safely available so no need to carry lots of cash and dollars are always used with change given in local currency. You can also pay on credit card everywhere and great internet access even in the remotest of stays. How do they do it! Everyone says it,however it is worth mentioning, you do need a lot more travelling clothes than you would normally take. When washed they do not dry quickly because of the humidity. A fold out umbrella is an essential item. We found sealed bags for cameras etc useful and check your ‘bins’ are sealed, they may steam up inside otherwise! It is all about the beautiful green countryside, so clean and litter free. This is a very different Central America more akin to the North and generally you will have no language barriers at all. Try to get a direct flight! Going via Miami is a complete nightmare with immigration, lines, and just general inefficiency with little or no signage. In our experience you need at least 3 hours between flights if you do and that will be tight. It was a real challenge and took the edge of what was an amazing adventure. A great pity. However ....... Go and enjoy!
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